U.S. House Democrats vow to back Speaker Johnson if Republicans try to oust him

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., left, and House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., talk during a ceremony as the remains of retired Army Col. Ralph Puckett lie in honor during his congressional tribute in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on April 29, 2024, in Washington, D.C. J. Scott Applewhite – Pool/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democratic leaders on Tuesday killed efforts by a small group of far-right House Republicans to remove Speaker Mike Johnson from his leadership post.

House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark and Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar released a joint statement saying their members would vote against efforts to oust Johnson using the so-called motion to vacate — an extraordinary sign of bipartisan support in the House.

“We will vote to table Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Motion to Vacate the Chair,” they wrote. “If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed.”

Greene, a Rome, Georgia Republican, filed the motion to remove Johnson, of Louisiana, in March. She has since gained support from Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar.

But other members of the House Freedom Caucus, including Chairman Bob Good of Virginia, have said the GOP Conference should wait until after the November elections to debate leadership.

The far-right GOP lawmakers are frustrated that Johnson has brought numerous bipartisan measures to the floor, including government funding packages as well as military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. 

The trio of House Democratic lawmakers wrote in the Tuesday statement that “(f)rom the very beginning of this Congress, House Democrats have put people over politics and found bipartisan common ground with traditional Republicans in order to deliver real results.”

“At the same time, House Democrats have aggressively pushed back against MAGA extremism. We will continue to do just that,” they wrote.

Johnson, asked about the statement during a press conference Tuesday morning, said he hadn’t heard about the statement.

“I’ve not requested assistance from anyone,” Johnson said. “I’m not focused on that at all. I’m focused on getting the job done and getting the legislation passed.”

Johnson said that “no deals at all” were made with Democrats to secure their support during a possible motion to vacate vote.


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